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The Charlatans’ Tim Burgess covered Arthur Russell on RSD14 7″ w/ Love of Life Orchestra’s Peter Gordon (watch the video)

by Bill Pearis

Tim Burgess

Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess released a 7″ for Record Store Day 2014 via O Genesis, the label he runs with Nik from Factory Floor. The A-side is “Oh Men,” a collaboration with Lambchop’s Kurt Wagner who worked on Burgess’ 2012 LP, Oh No I Love You. The B-side is a cover of Arthur Russell‘s great “I Couldn’t Say it to Your Face.” The later features saxophone from Love of Life Orchestra‘s Peter Gordon, who played on many of Russell’s records and in his live band. He tells The Quietus how it came to be:

The cover is originally by Arthur Russell and is a song of his I was doing on my last solo tour. We loved performing it but it was always on my mind to record it. By a series of various alignments of New York minimal disco planets I found myself working with someone who worked closely with Arthur, a composer/arranger/genius called Peter Gordon, who also happened to be the head honcho of Love Of Life Orchestra. Peter had worked on much, if not most, of Russell’s recorded material and was the key member of his live set up too. I wasn’t sure if it was the dumbest thing imaginable to ask him to work with me on a cover of a song that he played on so long ago. Peter said it took him 35 years to get that song out of his head, now it’s back again… He wasn’t sure if it was the dumbest thing imaginable, too, so we recorded ‘I Couldn’t Say It To Your Face’.

Where the original version of “I Couldn’t Say it to Your Face” is sad and beautiful, Burgess puts just a little sunshine into his cover, and a bit of a beat. We’ve got the premiere of its video, directed by Factory Floor visualist Dan Tombs, in this post.

You may remember that Gordon opened for Factory Floor at 285 Kent back in December and DFA released a Love of Life Orchestra compilation back in 2010.

Watch the video below…


Tim Burgess – I Couldn’t Say It To Your Face

Check It Out

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